Automotive CEOs and European Commission discuss recovery plan that bolsters economy and Green Deal

Brussels, 14 May 2020 – CEOs from across the automotive value chain came together for a meeting with the European Commission to align on the priorities for a solid recovery plan for the automotive sector, with a view to stimulating the wider economy and bolstering the transformation to a carbon-neutral society.

CEOs of vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers, as well as their respective associations – the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) – held constructive discussions with Frans Timmermans, the Commission’s Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, and Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, during a conference call yesterday evening.

With extended factory closures across Europe, a loss in production of 2.4 million vehicles so far and car sales down by more than 95% in major EU markets last month, the whole sector is at risk of liquidity shortages and sees its performance threatened for some time to come. The situation in the automotive industry has a significant knock-on effect on other parts of the economy.

“The number one priority of the industry is to re-launch the market, thereby enabling production to resume at manufacturing sites across the EU,” stated ACEA Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema. “Given the near-total collapse in sales, it will be crucial to provide a strong market stimulus to enable vehicle makers to fully re-open production facilities and keep people in jobs.”

During the meeting, ACEA and CLEPA called on the European Commission to coordinate national fleet renewal schemes to ensure that the market conditions are harmonised across the continent, and to supplement these with the EU budget.

“As we work on putting the wheels back in motion, we must look for win-win solutions, addressing the pressing environmental, industrial and broader societal needs,” said Sigrid de Vries, CLEPA Secretary General. “The purpose of recovery measures should therefore be two-fold: to re-start the industry and to employ the full range of technology solutions that are available and needed for carbon-neutrality. Hand in hand with investments in renewable energy carriers and infrastructure, this will propel the Green Deal as well as safeguard employment and industrial activity in Europe.”

Although vehicle and component production is slowly starting to pick up again, there are huge discrepancies amongst member states. This is hampering the recovery of an industry that depends on supply chains spanning right across the European continent. The CEOs therefore re-iterated their plea for a coordinated re-start of activities and investments along the entire value chain.

Given the near-total collapse in sales, it will be crucial to provide a strong market stimulus to enable vehicle makers to fully re-open production facilities and keep people in jobs.

Notes for editors

  • CEOs and other industry participants present at the meeting:
    • ACEA
      • BMW Group; Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management
      • CNH Industrial; Suzanne Heywood, CEO
      • Daimler AG; Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG & Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars
      • Daimler Truck AG; Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management
      • DAF; Harry Wolters, President
      • Ferrari; Michael Leiters, Chief Technology Officer
      • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer and President ACEA
      • Honda Motor Europe; Ian Howells, Senior Vice President
      • IVECO; Gerrit Marx, President Commercial and Specialty Vehicles
      • Jaguar Land Rover; Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer
      • MAN Truck & Bus AG; Joachim Drees, CEO
      • Scania AB; Henrik Henriksson, President & CEO and Chairman ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board
      • Toyota Motor Europe; Didier Leroy, Chairman of the Board of Management
      • Volvo Car Group; Mårten Levenstam, Head of Product Strategy
      • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles; Thomas Sedran, CEO and Chairman ACEA Light Commercial Vehicle General Managers’ Committee
    • CLEPA
      • Faurecia; Patrick Koller, Chief Executive Officer
      • Robert Bosch; Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management
      • ZF Friedrichshafen; Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chief Executive Officer
      • CLEPA; Thorsten Muschal, President (member of the board of Faurecia)
  • The action plan ’25 actions for a successful restart of the EU’s automotive sector’ can be found here:

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 14 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit for more information about ACEA, and follow us on or


  • Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director,, +32 485 88 66 47.
  • Ben Kennard, Content Editor and Press Manager,, +32 487 39 21 82

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  • CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, represents over 3,000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 25 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe directly and indirectly employ nearly five million people across the continent.
  • More information about CLEPA can be found on or
  • Contact: Clara Guillén, Communications Manager, +32 491 719 249,

About the EU automobile industry

  • 13.0 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 11.5% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €374.6 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
Content type Press release
Vehicle types All vehicles
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